Capsule Stories III

Intellectual Rollercoaster Vanuatu 2012-2014

2012- open-minded and humbled; 2013- stop caring about spelling (doesn’t matter in Bislama) and can literally FEEL my thoughts slow and simplify, the quality (and vocabulary!) deteriorating; 2014- thankful to see that my cognitive regression was not permanent—or at least, I’m either getting back up to speed or getting used to my newly simplified mental existence; second half of 2014- spent panicking because it’s all not coming back fast enough, no spelling looks right, and why can’t I think of that damn word?!?! (any of them!)

An example of writing in Bislama. Take a look at this and maybe my story will be easier to understand. “Komputa Literasi Klas,” for example.


Boogeykids! main road in Port Narvin, 2014

Starting with little Nesi (9), the students would hide in bushes, behind trees, in the grass, and try to jump out and scare us on our way home from homework hour (in the dark). This generally resulted in us chasing them all screaming across the village. Nearly every night.

He’s a boogeyman alright. I see it in his eyes. Teehee~ this is Nesi, inspiration of the boogeykids. ❤


Ants Schmants everywhere 2013-2014

All those times we opened some invaluable food item to find it covered in ants or full of boll weevils, or something of the sort—and that it simply meant spending a minute or two pulling off the most visible bugs before enjoying anyway.

THIS is a peach cobbler. Made with special imported, lugged to the island and otherwise unavailable ingredients, then cooked in an oven that is a hole in the ground with a fire in it (basically dutch oven)…. this thing was valuable beyond measure. So when we couldn’t finish the whole thing in one sitting, but we came back to it later to find it covered in ants? Well I didn’t NOTICE that it was more crunchy……


Nakamal Sardines Rungu Nakamal 2013

That time we were swarmed with students of all ages, as we were every night to help them study—packed around the table like sardines—and suddenly Alikton looks up, crunches his nose and whines, “Mr. Peter, wan man i fart!”

We were always too busy to get pictures while packed in like sardines. So here’s a picture of the roof of the nakamal. Natangura is the name of the grass they make the thatch out of.


Learning to Fly Port Narvin to Ipota, 2014

That time when I walked from Port Narvin to Ipota with my friend Susian, determined to maintain HER pace. 4 hours and 40 minutes later, I had completed the hike that before had taken me 7-8 hours each time. Just as I began to feel pretty impressed with myself, Susian turned around to “hurry and get back to Port Narvin before it got dark,” completing the 15 mile hike twice in one day.

While she (leisurely, for her) sped back, I reclined and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to walk normally for at least a couple of days. In all my humility, I spent the majority of those two days bragging.

Just one part of the walk~ over the many times I’ve done this walk, the time I sped over these razor sharp rocks, rather than carefully take my time, was the one time I didn’t slip and draw blood. Maybe there’s something to that.



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